Contrast today is releasing a major update to Launch Center Pro for iPhone and iPad adding support for If This Then That and location-based actions. The update includes support for sharing GIF images from within the app using Giphy search integration (fun, right?) as well as support for scanning barcodes and QR codes from Launch Center Pro.
While there’s certainly a lot of potential with connecting web services to native apps using LCP and the IFTTT automation service, the location-based actions using geofencing and iBeacons unlock some really cool use cases for me personally…
Launch Center Pro geolocation support includes granular controls for actions like only on specific days of the week, times during the day, leaving and arriving a specific location, and only allowing alerts to be triggered repeatedly within a set time frame.
To test out geofenced actions, I created an automated, pre-wrtten iMessage to be sent to a set contact when I arrive at a specific location. Using this action in Launch Center Pro, I’m able to save time doing something that is otherwise very repetitive: iMessage “Here” when I arrive to pick up someone (it’s like a 21st century doorbell, right?). Launch Center Pro pushes the notification to the lock screen on my iPhone, and swiping across it launches the app with the pre-written message ready to go. Hitting send is still required due to iOS restrictions, but that’s preferred in this case so it doesn’t send when I don’t actually need it to send.
Next up, I created a simple action to launch either Beats Music or Instacast when I am near a specific iBeacon (the specific beacon I’m testing is from Estimote). By plugging in the UDID of the beacon into Launch Center Pro, I can launch actions when arriving or leaving the range of the beacon. Specifically, I created an action to launch my music streaming app or podcast player from the launch screen when I enter my car by placing the iBeacon in my center console. This is something else that I repeatedly do with my iPhone when I first enter my car so it’s very useful to have the apps on my lock screen. By creating actions to launch two apps at the same time, Launch Center Pro puts both apps on the lock screen and I can choose which to swipe to launch and the other one disappears.
Those are just two actions that I already repeatedly did with my iPhone, but geofencing and iBeacon-based actions create a lot of potential for Launch Center Pro on both iPhone and iPad. If you’re already an IFTTT user, the action launching app is even more powerful now too (LCP channel here).
Launch Center Pro 2.3 for iPhone and iPad is available as a free update for existing LCP 2 customers. If you haven’t bought Launch Center Pro 2 in the past, the app is available for $4.99 for iPhone and iPod touch and $4.99 for iPad from the App Store.